Have you heard about Tesco’s new loyalty scheme? In this article, we’ll take a look at what you can expect from the new program and what is has to offer.
Loyalty schemes have been around for ages, with many types of stores offering these programs to help customers save money and stay loyal to the brand. Loyalty programs are one method stores use to keep customers coming back to spend more.
Tesco’s new Clubcard Plus program starts on November 8th—is it worth paying £7.99/month?
Tesco’s New Loyalty Program
Tesco’s Clubcard Plus scheme has been compared to Amazon’s Prime subscription service, and other loyalty subscription services such the one provided by Marks & Spencer.
Many supermarkets have launched their own loyalty programs over the years. However, it’s important to review the details to see if the program could be a good savings for you and your family. Is Tesco’s new loyalty scheme right for you?
Will Tesco’s Clubcard Plus Work with Current Shopping Trends?
Some experts have taken the position that Tesco’s new ClubCard Plus scheme is a relic from the past. Why? Take a look at the current shopping trends in the UK.
These days, many people, especially tech-savvy Millennials, tend to do their shopping online. Mobile technology such as smartphones, tablets and laptops make it fast and easy to shop online from anywhere. Your groceries are delivered to your home at a specific time. What could be better than that?
Some customers are choosing to visit the store more often, with the aim of buying fresher foods such as produce. Other customers choose to shop more often but chose to make smaller purchases. This often includes the elderly, new parents, after snacks by teens, etc. For these people, Tesco’s new customer loyalty program may not be so convenient.
Is the program a relic from the past? Think of it this way. Who, these days, chooses to spend endless hours walking the aisles of the store shopping for what they need? Not many.
This is why experts are saying that Tesco’s new program could be obsolete even before it begins.
Tesco’s Take on the New Clubcard Plus Scheme
Tesco has said that people are looking for ways to help their money go further, which includes customer loyalty programs.
According to CEO Dave Lewis, “The objective is loyalty.” That is, the idea is to create loyal customers who keep coming back. The store intends to accomplish this by offering more value for those who have big shops more frequently.
What Does Tesco’s New Clubcard Plus Offer?
What do you get for £7.99/month? Let’s take a look:
- 10% off two “big shops” of £200 every month
- Customers choose when to use their cards
- 10% off Tesco brands such as F&F (clothing), Go Cook & Tesco Pet, etc.
- Clubcard Plus members can double their Tesco mobile data at no extra cost
- Members can apply for a Tesco bank credit card with no currency exchange fee
- Customers can cancel at any time, without fear of penalties, etc.
What’s not to like? This looks like a pretty good deal.
Clubcard Plus – What’s in the Details?
While this does look like a great deal, when you begin looking at the details of the Clubcard Plus program, some things begin to become obvious.
When it comes to spending, you’ll have to spend at least £80 on one shopping trip a month just to cover the cost of the subscription. Many customers may not find that much of a savings.
However, those who do spend £200 twice a month could save up to £40 altogether, or £32 after paying the monthly fee. The total annual savings could add up to £384. That’s not bad at all.
Renewals & Discounts
Renewing your participation in the new loyalty scheme is easy. Each year, the subscription will renew automatically. For those who don’t want to continue in the program, they can cancel at any time.
However, if you choose to cancel before the renewal date, you won’t receive a refund for any remaining time left in the program.
Discounts don’t roll over to the next month and can not be applied retrospectively.
You’ll need a smartphone, as the Clubcard Plus works via a smartphone app. Customers have to use the app when checking out, which can make check-out times a little longer in already crowded stores.
This is where some customers may be disappointed. There are quite a few restrictions put in place for items that customers can’t buy with the Clubcard Plus discount including:
- Lottery tickets
- Tobacco products
- Baby formula milk
- Purchases in Tesco cafes
- Gift cards
- Postage stamps
- 10p carrier bags
- Prescription medications
- Wine & alcohol are included, except when the store runs their periodic “25% off six bottles” offers
- Electrical items (such as blenders and microwaves) are not included
- You’ll have to use a specific barcode when checking out to apply the savings; it doesn’t work for online purchases
Tesco’s New Bank Card
Customers who choose Tesco’s new loyalty scheme can also apply for the store’s new bank credit card. The card comes with 0 foreign exchange fees and it’s only available to Clubcard Plus customers.
The card also features 0% interest on purchases over the first 12 months. After this, customers will find the interest rate rises to 19.95%.
Tesco’s new credit card can also be used to collect points when shopping at Tesco and their retail partners. One nice benefit of the card—customers won’t be charged if they go over their credit limit or pay their bill on time.
While the card looks like it might be a good option, it pays to comparison shop when it comes to choosing credit cards. There are travel cards, for instance, that offer 0 foreign exchange fees, along with other benefits that may be a better choice for many people.
Is the New Tesco Clubcard Plus Worth It?
Looking more like a customer savings scheme from the 1980s, is Tesco’s new loyalty scheme worth the price? Yes, it can be for some customers, especially those who:
- Make large shopping runs at least twice a month at Tesco. You’ll need to spend £200 twice a month, remember.
- Customers who use smartphones will have no problem when checking out.
- Tesco Mobile customers will receive double data if they join the new loyalty scheme.
Shoppers who pre-plan their shopping trips will benefit the most. Also, it doesn’t hurt to sign up for the program. You can test it out to see if it works for you. There’s no penalty for canceling (though see above—you won’t receive a refund if you cancel months before the renewal date).
However, shoppers who prefer to shop online, avoiding the crowds and who want to avoid pushing a trolley up and down aisles will not find the new Clubcard Plus much of a benefit. In addition, if customers tend to make many small trips throughout the month, Tesco’s new loyalty program may not be worth the £96 annual fee.
What’s Available for Customers Who Don’t Want to Participate in Tesco’s New Loyalty Program?
What if you don’t use a smartphone, or simply don’t want to use the app? Will Tesco have a loyalty program for you, too?
Fortunately, Tesco is keeping its existing free Clubcard rewards scheme and it will continue as normal. If you choose not to upgrade, the free loyalty program will continue to offer one point for every £1 spent both online and in the store. If you buy Tesco gas, you’ll get one point for every £2 spent.
In addition, you’ll still receive Tesco store vouchers every three months, or you’ll still be able to download them onto the Clubcard app. You earn £5 in vouchers for every £500 spent. You can also use your free Clubcard points at partners such as Café Rouge and Prezzo, where the points are worth more.
So, you can still enjoy your current free Clubcard membership and enjoy the perks you’ve come to use the most. In fact, Tesco’s made it easy to stay on your current membership as you’ll always have the option to upgrade to the new Clubcard Plus. The new loyalty scheme is a part of Tesco’s regular Clubcard membership—you just have to pay the subscription for the new program.
Take a closer look at the Tesco Clubcard Plus